Johnston Press to 'start new redundancies' on Irish titles

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Johnston Press is reported to have instigated a new round of redundancies on its Irish newspaper titles.

The Irish Independent reported this morning that the regional publishing group is to cut jobs as part of a new round of cost-cutting.

The report comes as the threat of widespread strike across Johnston Press papers in Great Britain dissipates following the end of a two-year pay freeze and resumption of pay talks across the publishing group.

Johnston Press merged of its Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland publishing divisions in June bringing the publisher’s 25 titles in Northern Ireland – including the News Letter, the Derry Journal – together with the 17 it controls in the Republic, including the Kilkenny People and the Limerick Leader.

In May last year, Johnston Press was forced to abandon the planned sale of its titles in the Republic of Ireland after the board of the company was unable to secure a sufficiently high price.

Failure to sell the titles left Johnston Press at risk of breaching its banking covenants and led the business into talks with lenders over refinancing its debt. Johnston Press later agreed a three-year £485m financing deal.

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